Great American Beer Fest (GABF) 2012

We headed down to Denver about 9am to check into the Four Seasons hotel for the Great American Beer Fest(GABF). Why such a fancy/expensive hotel for a beer fest, you ask? Cuz it was the only hotel left by the time we made the reservations. The beer fest sold out in 15 minutes and the hotels went fast after that. We are members of the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) so we were able to purchase tickets to the members only session on Saturday, 10/13/12, from 12-4pm.

I wore my FYIPA shirt from Mountain Sun in Boulder. Had to support one of the best breweries ever! Hubby wore his Blackfoot River Brewing tee-shirt that we got in Helena, Montana.

Let me just say that the Four Seasons hotel was FABULOUS! I was like a kid in a candy store. One of the first things I noticed was the TV that was inside of the bathroom mirror. So cool! It even had Bose speakers for the TV. There was a waterfall that spilled over into the large soaking tub. A rain shower head in the fancy shower. The sink basins lit up so that you could make your way pee during the night. The people working there were the best. They would even offer us bottled water when leaving. I don’t know if I can ever stay at another hotel again. I’m ruined. Ha.

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We got in line about an hour before the start. Tip: the line looks very long and scary but don’t fear, once the doors open it goes fast. It only took about 15 minutes to get in. Once inside, I was again like a kid in a candy store. I had already mapped out the areas that we wanted to hit first based on the breweries that we wanted to try. Hubby was a little more laid back on the whole plan but I had even downloaded the GABF app to help navigate the rows and rows of fabulous brewers.

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The first row I was so picky that I didn’t grab any beers. What? I was looking for specific brewers and hadn’t seen any of them yet. I grabbed one just to say that I had already sampled “something” and it was gross. I didn’t finish it. I had previously decided I was not finishing any beers that I did not enjoy because I had a lot of drinking “on tap” for the day. Pun intended.

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Hubby was not looking at the brewery names but at the styles of beers they were offering. He was sampling a heck of a lot more beers than I was. My properly planned and laid-out strategy was starting to unravel. Our plan quickly changed to sample all of the expensive and rare beers that you can find whether or not you’ve read a good review about the brewery. I started tasting all of the bourbon or whiskey barrel aged beers since: they’re great and they’re generally more expensive. I was also tasting anything with a high alcohol content since once again: they’re great and expensive. There are so many beers that I cannot remember but here’s a highlight of the ones that do come to mind:

  • Russian River Brewing: Pliney the Elder (finally got to taste it)
  • TAPS Fish House & Brewery: Remy strong stout (12.5 abv)
  • TAPS Fish House & Brewery: Imperial Balinese Stout (9.1 abv)
  • Lakefront Brewery: Fixed Gear American Red Ale
  • Weyerbacher Brewing: Blithering Idiot
  • Tustin Brewing: Smog City Groundwork Coffee Porter (hubby’s favorite)
  • Sun King Brewing: Johan the Barleywine
  • Laurelwood Brewing: Organic Deranger Imperial Red
  • Epic Brewing: Big Bad Baptist

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We went to Red Rocks Brewery (yes, a brewery) afterwards for food. I had the nachos, of course! It was a happy day with great beers, nachos, a wonderful hubby to share it all with. Cheers!

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~ by willtriforbeer on December 29, 2012.

5 Responses to “Great American Beer Fest (GABF) 2012”

  1. I still can’t believe you didn’t try Cigar City Brewing!!

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